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When we get fitted for golf clubs we look at many different variables. The obvious ones include shafts, clubheads and grips, but swing weight is something that you should be aware of, too. But what is swing weight in golf clubs? 

Think of a club in your bag that you just love the feeling of. For some reason, it just feels great when you swing it. There’s a good chance that the reason you like it so much is because of the swing weight.

Swing weight can be determined by a number of different factors such as the weight of the clubhead or the grip. This is what can make the clubhead feel lighter or heavier.  

Swing weight was a measurement which was created in the 1920s to describe how a golf club feels in a player’s hands.

Let’s break things down a little further.

Essentially, it is the overall weight of a golf club and how it is distributed. There are four main factors that make up this measurement: Weight of the clubhead, grip, shaft and length of the club.

Swing weight is measured using a special balance scale that places the golf club where it is evenly balanced. This is called the fulcrum point. Once balanced at the correct point, club makers move a sliding weight that measures the amount of weight required to balance out the part of the club that hangs over the scale.  

Now, you may have heard fitters mention swing weight before and throw letters and numbers around like D2 and C5, which is what the measurement is of the swing weight. 

Swing weights use a combination of letters and numbers that tell golfers the range of the swing weight and the exact reading within that range.  There are six swing weight ranges from A to F. Each range has ten specific values within it, from zero to nine. The lightest possible swing weight is A0 while the heaviest possible swing weight is F9. 

The difference between each swing weight is 2 grams which is not much at all, but it can make a difference in the way the club feels when you’re swinging. That’s why caddies and pros make sure their clubs are cleaned after every shot so there is no dirt or grass left on the clubhead and grooves.

what is swing weight in golf clubs?
Grips, like these from Golf Pride, can make a big difference to a club’s swing weight. (Credit: bunkered)

Changing the grip alone will make the swing weight change as some grips are significantly heavier than others.

Replacing the shaft and changing the length will also make a big difference. For example, if you have a D3 swing weight driver at 45.5″ in length and cut it down to 45″, that same driver is now a D0 swing weight. A change in one swing weight point is difficult to notice but if you change three or four different points, you will notice a difference when you swing the club. 

You will see some pros using lead tape on their irons, like Soren Kjeldsen’s bag below. That’s to make the swing weight the same as the other irons. The head weight needs to be quite right and a couple extra grams can be added using a bit of lead to balance the head weight.

Soren Kjeldsen's srixon irons
Soren Kjeldsen uses lead tape to adjust his swing weight in his irons. (Credit: bunkered)

If you’ve ever changed your grip or put in new shafts, it can feel different and that is down to the swing weight.

A grip can weigh anything from 20 grams to 100 grams in the jumbo grips. Shafts also vary in weight and length, so when you’re changing your equipment make sure you keep a note of what swing weight your clubs, especially if you’re a fan of the way they feel.

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James Tait is bunkered’s Gear Editor. Want to know how the latest Callaway driver, Vokey wedge or Scotty Cameron putter performs? He’s the guy to ask. Better yet, just watch his videos on the bunkered YouTube channel. One of the biggest hitters in the UK, James also competes on the World Long Drive circuit and is a descendent of former Amateur champion Freddie Tait.

Gear Editor

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